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Photos show the tree Macron and Trump planted at the White House is no longer on the South Lawn


white house tree

  • During the state visit last week, French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump planted a tree that Macron brought as a gift from a forest in France.
  • The tree had grown where US Marines fought a legendary battle during World War I.
  • But on Saturday, Reuters photos show a yellow spot where the two leaders planted the tree.

The oak sapling that French President Emmanuel Macron brought from a forest in France for him and US President Donald Trump to plant on the South Lawn of the White House has apparently disappeared.

Trump Macron planting a tree

The photos of the tree-planting sparked many memes on Tuesday:

trump macron tree brigitte melania

But on Saturday, Reuters photographer Yuri Gripas captured photos that show the tree is no longer where Trump and Macron planted it:

white house tree

Here's a closer look at the grass:

white house tree

The Daily Mail, BBC News, and HuffPost France speculated that the tree may have been temporarily removed under federal rules since it was an imported plant.

An anonymous source from Macron's administration told HuffPost France that US Customs and Border Control requires any imported plant be inspected and undergo a period of quarantine.

Macron and Trump had planted the tree the day after Macron arrived in D.C.

Business Insider reached out to the White House for an explanation and will update this post if we hear back.

SEE ALSO: Here are the 21 best photos from Macron and Trump's historic state visit

DON'T MISS: Macron taps into US Marines lore with tree sapling gift to Trump

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6 subtle hints on a wedding invitation that can tell you how formal the event will be


Wedding Invitation

  • Wedding invitations contain subtle hints about the level of formality and overall fanciness of the celebration, according to event planners.
  • Those hints include the size and thickness of the paper and the time the event is called for.
  • Once you know how grand the affair will be, you'll have a better idea of what to wear, how many guests will be there, and generally what to prepare for.


Wedding invitations aren't just pieces of paper that languish on your dining-room table until the day before the event. Couples put a lot of thought into elements such as the font, the paper size, and the number of envelopes enclosing the card, since the invitation sets the tone for the entire affair.

That means guests can take a quick look at a wedding invitation and figure out just how fancy, formal, and traditional the celebration will be. Read: You'll get a better sense of what to wear, whether you can show up late, how many people will be there, and generally what to prepare for.

We spoke to three event and wedding planners — Melissa McNeeley of Events by Melissa McNeeley, Amy Shey Jacobs of Chandelier Events, and Andrea Freeman of Andrea Freeman Events— and got the lowdown on these subtle cues and what they convey.

For their best insight on what you can learn from an invite, see the graphic above.

SEE ALSO: One of the most formal traditions for wedding invitations dates back to a time when mail was delivered by horse and buggy

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'Avengers: Infinity War' scores the biggest opening weekend of all-time with $250 million (DIS)


avengers infinity war 1

  • Disney/Marvel Studio's "Avengers: Infinity War" wins the domestic box office with an estimated $250 million.
  • That makes it the biggest opening of all-time, domestically.

Marvel/Disney's long-awaited "Avengers: Infinity War" proved its box office might over the weekend as it took in an estimated $250 million at the domestic box office, according to boxofficepro. That's the biggest of all-time.

The movie that culminates everything that has occurred in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the last decade since Robert Downey Jr. put on the Iron Man suite in 2008, "Infinity War" follows The Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy as they battle the evil Thanos (voiced by Josh Brolin), who wants to possess all the Infinity Stones so he can destroy half of the universe's population.

With the movie's enormously high stakes, fans both super and casual alike of the MCU flocked to the multiplex to see the movie, if not for the simple reason to make sure they weren't left out of the talk on social media and around the office that's to follow.

thanos gauntletIt's the kind of buzz around a movie that studios dream of — movie that has to be seen on its opening weekend in fear of FOMO. And the weekend numbers are proving that "Infinity War" accomplished its mission.

Following a $106 million Friday (with $39 million from Thursday previews), the movie took a minuscule 25% drop on Saturday, when it took in $83 million. That marks the best Saturday ever (topping $69.6 million by "Jurassic World").

The movie's $250 million weekend passes the all-time best domestic opening weekend held by "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" with $247.9 million in 2015. "Infinity War" playing on more screens (4,474) than "Force Awakens (4,134) helped, too.

"Infinity War" is the sixth movie all-time to have a $200 million-plus opening weekend domestically. They are "The Force Awakens," "The Last Jedi," "Jurassic World," "The Avengers," and "Black Panther."

Yes, all of those properties except for "Jurassic World" are owned by Disney.

The super studio has already earned over $1 billion domestically at the 2018 box office.

More on "Infinity War":

SEE ALSO: The "Avengers: Infinity War" ending is devistating — but the comic it's based on provides a glimmer of hope

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French first lady Brigitte Macron said Melania Trump is really fun, but worries she can't go outside


Melania Trump and Brigitte Macron

  • French first lady Brigitte Macron told Le Monde that American first lady Melania Trump is "really fun" but is not allowed outside.
  • Macron said the two get along well, but they have very different experiences as first ladies, and she was surprised at how strict White House life is.

First lady Melania Trump is "really fun" but not allowed outside, French first lady Brigitte Macron told Le Monde after last week's historic state visit.

Macron said she was surprised at how strict life inside the White House is for Trump, whom she described as "much more constrained than me."

"Melania cannot do anything; she cannot even open a window in the White House," Macron told the French newspaper. "She can not put her nose out. Me, every day, I'm out in Paris."

Macron and Trump spent much of the state visit together — visiting an art museum, dining together, and posing by their husbands' sides throughout the trip. They even appeared to dress alike during the historic and highly choreographed visit.

Though their day-to-day lives in the role of first lady may differ, Macron said the two "have the same humor, we both laugh a lot," though that side of Trump is hidden from public view.

"Everything is interpreted, over-interpreted," Macron said of Trump's public image. "She is a woman who has a lot of character but who is keen to hide it. She laughs very easily about everything but she shows it less than me."

Macron, a former teacher, said she still has a "normal life" and described how she balanced the personal and professional adjustments that are expected of incoming first ladies. Though she appreciates the gravity of the executive office, she said she doesn't want to be a "flower pot", or a silent ornament to her husband, French President Emmanuel Macron.

Events like last week's French state visit to the White House have particularly stiff protocol in place that governs the first couples' every move. "Everything was very framed," Macron said. "There were small labels on the ground; I put myself where I had to put myself."

Despite the national audience and occasional pomp and ceremony, Macron said being France's first lady hasn't affected her. "I have not changed, neither in my head nor in my way of living."

Read the full report here »

SEE ALSO: Melania Trump and French First Lady Brigitte Macron seem to be coordinating their outfits — and it's an unusual show of unity for the Trump White House

SEE ALSO: Meet French first lady Brigitte Macron: President Emmanuel Macron's former schoolteacher turned wife who's visiting the Trumps with him

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's how Donald Trump has changed since the '80s

Robert Rodriguez explains why his movie adaptation of famous manga 'Alita: Battle Angel' won’t make the mistake 'Ghost in the Shell' did


alita battle angel 2 fox

  • Robert Rodriguez and producer Jon Landau ("Avatar") talked to Business Insider at CinemaCon about the evolution of bringing "Alita: Battle Angel" to the screen.
  • It was originally a project James Cameron was to make, after he discovered the manga around 2000. However, the success of "Avatar" changed everything.
  • Rodriguez has resurrected the project, and explained how it will still feel like a Cameron movie, and why it won't make the mistakes of recent manga release, "Ghost in the Shell."

Before James Cameron made “Avatar” and broke all box-office records, he was planning on making the big-screen adaptation of “Battle Angel Alita,” the famous manga series created by Yukito Kishiro.

In fact, Cameron's deep dive around 2000 into the rich material about a cyborg named Alita (played in the movie by Rose Salazar) who tries to rediscover her past after being found in a garbage heap by a cybernetics doctor, wasn’t just going to be a single movie but a franchise.

However, Cameron had to put the project on hold as the success of “Avatar” has now led to him making multiple sequels of the movie (at the same time). Luckily, he’s found a worthy filmmaker to take on the “Battle Angel” material.

Robert Rodriguez, who is known for his wide range of titles (“Desperado,” “Machete,” “Sin City”) took Cameron’s material and crafted it into a stunning 3D movie (opening December 21).

After showing footage of “Alita: Battle Angel” at CinemaCon on Thursday, Rodriguez and producer Jon Landau (“Avatar” movies) sat down with Business Insider to talk about the evolution of the project and why this manga won’t end up like the big-screen version of “Ghost in the Shell.”

Jason Guerrasio: Jon you said on stage that Robert came in and "edited" Cameron's material to make the movie. Robert, what did that entail?

Rodriguez: Jim was writing “Alita” for himself to make. So he had already taken the 30-plus books and found which stories to focus on and created a story that was a movie story. He even wrote his first draft, which was long but he would have gotten there if he kept on it. But he got busy on “Avatar” so it was just left. So I asked him at this one meeting, "What are you going to do if you're now doing 'Avatar?' If you're only doing 'Avatars' what happens to 'Battle Angel?'" He said, "I won't have a chance to make it, but hey, if you can figure it out you can go and make it." And I was like, sh-- that's what I'm doing this summer. I took his 600 pages of notes home with me and I figured out what I needed to fill in.

Robert Rodriguez Jon Landau GettyWhen I read it I could tell this doesn't need a rewrite, it just needed to be cut down. So being an editor I just pretended it was already shot and I just edited it down to length and I suggested some additional photography and dialogue to patch the holes. That's it. And he went, "That sounds good, let's go make it." That was the main work, taking the vision that he already had and like I made “Sin City” in the style of Frank Miller, I made this like it would fee like a Jim Cameron film that I always wanted to see. 

Landau: And Robert did that on his own. He didn't say, "Put a deal in place for me to be the director." He just went and did it. And that speaks volumes. And we read what he did with Jim's 180-page script, and nothing was missing. And that told us that he understood what was important thematically. A lot of people talk about plot, Robert held onto the themes that were so important. 

Rodriguez: In fact, Jim told me he would play a game with himself while reading the script. He would be coming up on a part of the movie that he liked and would say to himself, I bet that's cut out, and he would love that it wasn't cut. The stuff that I thought he would miss the most, I made sure to keep in there. 

Landau: Honestly, Robert wasn't the first director we came to for this, but we never found the right fit to give up something that we believed in. I mean, Jim put in the time commitment to write it. 

Ghost in the shellGuerrasio: I know that “Battle Angle” is a very different manga than “Ghost in the Shell,” but seeing the disappointing result critically and financially for that movie, can you see the potholes you need to navigate around?

Landau: I think the pothole to avoid is what Jim did in the script. This is a movie that is about her. This movie is about emotion. One of my favorite shots in the movie is when Alita cries. That's a human thing. I think oftentimes other movies are made based on mangas that don't access that human quality. So to us she's just a character. And that's why I said on stage, "She's not a superhero, she's a hero." Just a regular girl who comes into this world and I think everyone can identify with her. 

Rodriguez: Also, Kishiro didn't write a movie that was particularly Asian. It was actually set in Kansas City. But we set it in South America because Jim's scientific mind made him believe that a space elevator would work better near the equator. So I was excited to make a Latin-based movie with a diverse cast that was organic to the story. This is set in the last city that's left in existence so people from all over are there. That helps you avoid the pitfalls of something that's particular to a society, like “Ghost in the Shell.” 

Guerrasio: Robert, you've taken risks on your movies all the way back to your first one, “El Mariachi.” What makes this different from those?

Rodriguez: It was risky in this sense: You'd seen "Planet of the Apes," but that's an ape, we were making for the first time a really human face. We've seen it in the "Star Wars" movies but that's just a few scenes. Here is a real character that we're creating and it has to be as human as the characters around them. We don't shoot hardly any green screen in this. Just to extend sets. Real sets, real actors, and there are a couple of characters that are completely CG and they have got to stand up skin for skin, eye to eye with anyone else. No one had done that. So we're pushing the envelope with that. But my risk level was lower because Jim had gone through this already on "Avatar." 

Guerrasio: Jon, compare and contrast Robert's style to James'.

Landau: The interesting thing about both of them is they are true auteurs. They both write, direct, edit — cinematographers when they want to. What I have found is Jim has his way of doing things. Robert is a student of filmmaking and he's adapted his style to making a Jim Cameron movie. A commitment he made. He understood he had to leave the world he was familiar with and approach it differently. Jim does that through always using different technology. 

Rodriguez: Here's an example how we're different. We're both into 3D, and he invited me to the making of the 'Terminator 2" 3D ride that he shot for Universal Studios. I'm such a fan and I try to impress him by telling him that I was taking a 3-day steadycam course because I was going to operate steadycam on my own on "Desperado" because I couldn't afford a steadycam operator. And he said, "I bought a steadycam, but not to operate it, I'm going to take it apart and design a better one." [Laughs.] That's the difference between me and Jim. I'm just a mortal trying to figure things out, he's designing a whole new system. 

Guerrasio: I need to bring up "Avatar," Jon, what are the challenges of shooting two movies at the same time?

Landau: Well, we are doing a little more than two. 

avatarGuerrasio: Oh, I thought you were shooting just two right now simultaneously.

Landau: Two and a little more. 

Guerrasio: Ah, ok. 

Landau: I think what we had to get our heads around is the first “Avatar” was a marathon. Now we're running a triathlon. We have to gauge ourselves and our crew to handle that long-term thing. But when you break it down, what we are really doing here is a miniseries on a super scale. There are segments of that miniseries that need to come to completion for the story arc. And then you build upon that. Once we got our heads around that we're really telling one big story, we were able to figure out how to plan it and schedule it. The cast is there and they are doing scenes from movie two today, movie three tomorrow. But we explained to them it's not different than doing just one movie. You do the end scene on day five and another scene another day. It's just communicating that to people. 

Guerrasio: Robert, you are always directing or producing, one project that I want to know that’s always talked about is “Machete Kills Again... In Space.”

Rodriguez: [Laughs.]

Guerrasio: Is that a real movie?

Rodriguez: Danny [Trejo] and I always say we're making that. The joke was that “Machete” 2 and 3 were together because you have a fake trailer for 3 [in “Machete Kills”]. The idea is we got to kind of make it already because there's the phantom trailer floating around. But you never know, we might make it. People have always expressed interest. There might be a way to do it.

Guerrasio: I feel you can make those movies with Danny for years and people would watch them. 

Rodriguez: It's crazy, I met Danny on the set of “Desperado” and I told him about "Machete." "You are going to play a character called Machete some day," and it became his most iconic character.

SEE ALSO: "Equalizer 2" director Antoine Fuqua talks about getting Denzel Washington to do his first sequel ever — and teases a "Scarface" reboot

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Singapore Airlines is set to launch a 19-hour flight from Singapore to New York — beating the record for longest in the world


singapore a350 airbus

  • Singapore Airlines is expected to be the first to receive the new Airbus A350-900 Ultra Long-Range jet later this year.
  • The ULR jet is able to fly up to 11,150 miles.
  • It will allow the airline to launch the longest flight in the world, 19 hours from Singapore to New York.
  • The longest flight is currently 18 hours from Auckland, New Zealand to Doha, Qatar.

Singapore Airlines is set to launch the world's longest flight — and it will be in the air for 19 hours.

Airbus is due to unveil its new A350-900 Ultra Long-Range (ULR) jet later this year, and Singapore will reportedly be the first airline to receive the plane, which had its first test flight earlier this month.

This means that Singapore Airlines plans to connect Singapore and New York by the end of the year, covering a whopping 9,521 miles in 19 hours.

The aircraft is able to fly up to 11,150 miles, about 1,800 more than the standard A350.

According to Travel + Leisure, the airline plans to operate two classes on the flight — business and premium economy. The plane will also reportedly be "fitted with lighting to combat jet lag and an air circulation system that renews the air every two minutes."

The longest flight in the world is currently Auckland, New Zealand to Doha, Qatar with Qatar Airways, which travels 9,032 miles and takes 18 hours, closely followed by Qantas' Perth, Australia to London, England leg, which flies 9,009 miles and takes just over 17 hours.

Singapore has apparently ordered seven of the ULR jets, and will use them to increase its long-haul service, including a non-stop 15-hour flight to Los Angeles starting in 2019.

SEE ALSO: Norwegian has launched the world's longest low-cost flight — and it'll get you to Singapore for less than £150

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The best photo from every single year of Prince Harry's remarkable life


prince harry age 3

In November, 33-year-old Prince Harry announced his engagement to 36-year-old actress Meghan Markle after a year and a half of dating.

While His Royal Highness is certainly still young, he's already had a pretty incredible life, which is only set to continue when the couple get married in May.

Aside from his high-profile relationship, Prince Harry travels the world — both with the royal family and as part of this charity efforts — and often competes in Champagne-filled sporting tournaments.

His life hasn't been without hardships, either. He and brother Prince William both struggled with their mental health after the death of their mother, Princess Diana, in 1997. 

Ahead of Prince Harry's royal wedding, we've found a photo from every single year of his remarkable life. Scroll down to take a look.

SEE ALSO: Here's what time Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding will start where you live — and how to watch it

Harry was born on September 15, 1984. Here he is with his mother, Princess Diana, and brother, Prince William.

AGE 1: Harry with Queen Sofia and King Juan Carlos of Spain, Prince William, Diana, and his father, Prince Charles, at the Marivent Palace in Palma de Mallorca on July 9, 1986.

AGE 2: The Princess of Wales holds Prince Harry at the Royal Palace, Majorca, Spain on August 9, 1987.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Friends can share similar brain waves, genetics, and personality traits — here’s why it happens


girls selfie friends

  • If you look at your friends, you may find that they are similar in a lot of ways.
  • Research suggests this could be for a number of reasons.
  • Friends tend to share similar brain waves, and react to situations in the same way.
  • Also, you might share some genetic similarities with your friends.
  • But other things are important too, and some research suggests we change our friends in line with our evolving hobbies, beliefs, and interests.

Some scientific research has shown how you're likely to be attracted to people who share similar facial characteristics as you. One theory for this is that we associate people who look like us with our parents, and thus have more positive feelings towards their features.

Similarities are also important for friendships. You may look around your friendship group and wonder how it is you all share the same sense of humour, or you all agree about certain things.

This mayl be because we gravitate towards people with similar interests and opinions, but science could also have something to do with it.

Friends share similar brainwaves

A recent study, published in the journal Nature Communications, found how neural responses could factor into our friendships.

Researchers from the University of California and Dartmouth College recruited 279 students to take a survey about who they were friends with in their classes. A smaller group of 42 students were then asked to watch video clips while the researchers used function magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to see what was happening in their brains at the time.

Results showed the friends who watched the clips reacted in strikingly similar ways. Areas of their brains associated with learning, motivation, memory, and affective processing lit up. In fact, the brain patterns were so similar, the researchers said they could predict who out of the group had called each other friends in the survey without looking at their answers.

"Neural responses to dynamic, naturalistic stimuli, like videos, can give us a window into people's unconstrained, spontaneous thought processes as they unfold," said Carolyn Parkinson, the lead author of the study. "Our results suggest that friends process the world around them in exceptionally similar ways."

They are also likely to be genetically similar

The sign of a strong friendship could also lie in your DNA. According to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, friends tend to be more genetically similar than strangers.

Researchers from Stanford, Duke, and the University of Wisconsin carried out a series of genetic comparisons between pairs of friends using a dataset of 5,500 American adolescents.

They found many more genetic similarities between the friends than between pairs who didn't know each other. Also, friends were about two thirds as similar as married couples, who have been found to share similar DNA.

One reason for this happening could be because people are drawn to others who come from a similar background, had the same level of education, or are of a similar height and weight — a phenomenon known as social homophily.

Another reason could be social structuring, which is when we forge friendships within shared social environments, such as schools or the place you live.

Friends share personality traits

A study that looked at behavioural data from social media, published in the journal Psychological Science, found that people are more like their friends than research previously thought.

Decades of research suggested there was no evidence that friends and romantic partners had similar personalities, according to Youyou Wu from the University of Cambridge, the lead author of the study.

However, the researchers suggested this could be because people tend to compare themselves to people around them when answering questions like "are you well organised?" So, they decided to observe people's behavior via their social media accounts, rather than relying on questionnaires.

They collected Facebook data from 295,320 participants, and gathered information about their personality traits from people's "likes" and status updates.

"People who like 'Salvador Dali' or 'meditation,' for example, tend to score high on openness to new experiences; those who write about 'partying' or 'weekends' a lot tend to be extroverted," said Wu, according to The Association for Psychological Science. "The advantage of this approach is that everyone is being judged against a universal standard, leaving less room for subjective judgment."

Overall, the results showed there was a substantial similarity in personality traits between both friends and romantic partners.

Similar interests are more important than how much you like each other

It may sound obvious, but sharing interests is very important for solid friendships. Back in 2010, researchers looked into people's Facebook habits to try and work out why this is.

The study, published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, concluded that we change friends throughout our lives because we form friendships through similarities in our professions, interests, hobbies, religion, or political affiliation. However, our interests are always in flux, and our personalities change throughout life.

"It was fascinating to see how the cliques could form without any one person organising everything," said Seth Bullock, a researcher at School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, and one of the authors of the study. "We saw individuals moving from one clique to another. Over time some cliques disappeared while new ones were established."

In other words, as we grow up and our interests change, our friends are likely to be in keeping with that.

SEE ALSO: It takes roughly 200 hours to become best friends with someone, according to science

Join the conversation about this story »

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What it takes to become a flight attendant in South Korea, where it's so competitive that candidates are getting plastic surgery to improve their odds



  • South Korea's youth unemployment is nearing "catastrophic" levels, a Korean finance minister said in March.
  • To secure a job, many young people in South Korea feel that their application, which must include a photo ID, has to be perfect.
  • Being a flight attendants is an especially enviable job in South Korea with plenty of competition. As a result, many aspiring flight attendants are turning to plastic surgery to increase their odds of securing the job.
  • Some plastic surgery clinics in South Korea are even making special packages for aspiring flight attendants, encouraging those women to slim their faces, widen their eyes, and upturn their mouths.

It was only 1993 when United flight attendants reported that they were fasting, purging, and taking laxatives to keep their figure — and their jobs. If the crew members weighed more than 11 pounds over the maximum, they would receive 10 days of unpaid temporary leave, the Chicago Tribune reported at the time.

Such rules have since been softened or outright banned in much of the world. But flight attendant hopefuls in South Korea still report significant pressure to look a certain way — and it's leading them to take drastic measures.

Leading Korean airlines in South Korea like Asiana Airlines and Korean Air dropped their height stipulation and softened their language requirements for aspiring flight attendants in 2015, local media reported.

But in practice, thanks to a combination of factors including the job application process and Korean standards of beauty, flight attendant hopefuls have reported feeling pressured by an unspoken requirement "to be more beautiful," The Korea Herald reported.

"The flight attendants are actually the representative of the airline," Sojin Lim, a 25-year-old Seoul resident who worked for a domestic Korean airline, told Business Insider. "How they look will affect the image of it, so they have to always look formal and neat."

SEE ALSO: Flight attendants share 15 of their favorite travel hacks

DON'T MISS: Inside the intensive, two-month training all Delta flight attendants must attend that's harder to get into than Harvard

It's typical for job applications in South Korea to require an ID photo. Because of that, many job applicants in South Korea say they feel the pressure to appear good-looking, whether it's to be a flight attendant, an engineer, or a cashier.

Source:LA Times

In fact, a 2016 survey by Saramin, a Korean online job portal, found that more than 60% of human resources personnel feel an applicant's appearance affects his or her candidacy.


The Korean government is seeking to overturn the résumé photo requirement in sweeping regulations that would also ban employers from asking applicants their height, weight, family background, and hometown.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

8 insider facts about shopping at Target that only employees know


Cashier Target sales cash register

  • Target store employees know a lot about the chain's inner workings.
  • Employees have taken to the web to share all sorts of interesting secrets about the brand.
  • Here's a look at some insider insights that could be helpful to customers, courtesy of Target employees.

Target store employees know all about the retail giant's inside operations.

And there are plenty of current and former employees out there. Today, Target has 1,829 stores in the US. It also employs a massive workforce, with over 350,000 global team members.

Some of those workers have taken to the web to share information on what it's like to work at the chain. Some also shared tips and suggestions on how to make the most of your shopping experience and how to snag the best deals.

So if you're planning on going on a Target run anytime soon, consider going in prepared with this insider information.

Here's a look at some surprising facts about the retail chain, courtesy of current and former Target employees:

SEE ALSO: Costco employees share the 20 things they wish shoppers would stop doing

DON'T MISS: Walmart employees share 8 insider facts about shopping at the big box store

SEE ALSO: Costco employees explain why they don't buy produce there

Target has a state-of-the-art forensics program to catch shoplifters, among other things.

Apparently "CSI: Target" is a thing.

The retail chain runs two forensic labs, one in Minneapolis and the other in Las Vegas. On its website, Target said its investigators solve cases through "video and image analysis, latent fingerprint and computer forensics."

In a 2008 article profiling the Target Forensic Services team, Forbes reported that 70% of the lab's time is spent looking into fraud, theft, and personal cases.

But Target investigators have also assisted law-enforcement agencies on a number of armed robbery, kidnapping, and homicide cases, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

People who said they've worked at Target before took to Reddit to say that the stores tend to have state-of-the-art camera surveillance.

"The resolution on those things was insane," one Reddit poster wrote.

"I worked at Target in the early nineties and it was insane then," another Reddit user added. "Twenty years later and I wouldn't be surprised if they weigh me as I enter and as I leave to determine if I'm shoplifting."

One Target employee told Business Insider that the surveillance system doesn't ensure that all shoplifters get busted immediately, however.

"Stores will often let shoplifters go until they steal an amount that will be counted as a felony — sending them straight to jail," the Target employee told Business Insider.

Be nice to employees — it might pay off.

Sometimes, it pays to be nice.

Business Insider's Kate Taylor previously reported on a viral blog started by Target employee Tom Grennell.

He wrote about working during a special sale when his Target store was giving out a 10% discount on all purchases. The only catch? Shoppers had to ask for the discount.

"I have a coupon to scan if anyone asks for it. I scan it if people don't ask for it if they're nice to me," Grennell wrote. "I don't scan it if they're rude. Power is a new sensation. Power is a good sensation."

You can't necessarily spot a clearance item by its price tag.

The website Truth or Fiction threw cold water on the idea that prices ending in certain numbers indicate clearance items at Target.

"The ending digit of a clearance price is determined by several factors including the original retail price and the applied percentage discount," former Target PR representative Evan Lapiska told Truth or Fiction. "It is not possible to determine the final markdown or timing of the price change from the item's current price."

The website also debunked the idea that Target's mark downs run on a weekly schedule.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The most surprising foods Weight Watchers considers zero points — and why


woman eating

Weight Watchers has long assigned a point system to foods for dieters.

The idea is to encourage people to stay away from less healthy foods, like a slice of cake, by making those items account for more of a person's daily food-intake total. Foods that are perfectly healthy to eat in abundance, on the other hand, get a low point value.

According to the the weight-loss giant's rubric, some vegetables have always counted for zero points. But now Weight Watchers says dieters need not count points anymore when it comes to many other fruits, veggies, and nutrient-rich proteins. In December, Weight Watchers released an updated list of more than 200 zero-point foodsthat followers of the diet plan can eat in unlimited quantities.

That idea might seem counterintuitive, since many people assume that letting dieters eat as much as they want of certain foods could lead to overeating.

"These foods form the basis of a healthy eating pattern,"Gary Foster, Weight Watchers' chief scientific officer and an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania's medical school, told Business Insider. The list of zero-points items even includes things like eggs and fish.

"Very few people come to Weight Watchers because they've had a problem overdoing it on salmon, legumes, beans, and chicken," Foster said.

In other words, people just don't tend to binge on satiating, healthful foods. And Weight Watchers doesn't want any feelings of guilt to be associated with eating an extra dose of salad or another bite of fish.

The no-points-list includes apples, mushroom caps, scallions, and tangerines. Here are some of the most surprising entries on it, and the nutrition research that led them to be included.

SEE ALSO: You're probably putting on sunscreen all wrong — here's how to apply it the right way, according to a dermatologist

Whole eggs, including the cholesterol-heavy yokes.

Recent research has shown that for most healthy adults, eggs don't have a huge effect on blood cholesterol levels. And if you like your breakfast eggs topped with a little red salsa, go wild. That's a points-free food now too.

Many kinds of beans, including black, butter, navy, white, and fat-free refried beans

Beans and legumes are a categorically low-fat, high-protein source of fuel that give you lots of potassium, magnesium and filling fiber. If you're not a bean lover, lentils are point-free too.

Caviar and shellfish

If your wallet can handle it, you can have as much caviar as you like. In fact, most fish and shellfish — like crab and lobster — are fine to eat with abandon.

According to Weight Watchers, people just don't tend to overeat seafood, so it's simply not worth measuring out into gram-specific servings. They'd rather have clients eat these types of proteins until they feel satisfied, then stop.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Kate Middleton is a whiskey fan and Cleopatra used to bathe in wine — here are the surprising favorite drinks of 10 popular royals


Prince William and Kate Middleton whiskey

Some of history's most powerful kings, queens, and members of royal families have been known for their unique drinking habits. 

While some, like Princess Diana, only sipped on Peach Bellinis from time to time, others, like Catherine II (later known to the world as Catherine the Great), became renowned for their surprising drinking abilities. 

Below, see the favorite drinks of 10 popular royals, from Kate Middleton to Cleopatra. 

SEE ALSO: Kate Middleton's delivery of her third baby probably cost less than a typical birth in the US

DON'T MISS: Kate Middleton has given birth to her third child — here's what the royal line of succession looks like now

Kate Middleton: Jack Daniels

One of Kate's favorite drinks to sip is reportedly Jack Daniels, although it's a close call between the "Crack Baby," a mix of passion-fruit juice, vodka, and champagne that the couple was said to regularly drink at the nightclub Boujis.

Source: Telegraph

Princess Diana of Wales: Peach Bellini

Princess Diana was said to have been partial to a peach Bellini, enjoying them the night she famously snuck out while dressed as a man with Freddie Mercury.

Source: Daily Mail

Prince Charles: Laphroaig malt

The prince loves Laphroaig malt and even has a special Highgrove edition of the whiskey from Islay that he sells in his Gloucestershire estate shop.

Source: The Daily Meal

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Genetics company 23andMe is rolling out a huge initiative for people with ADHD and depression — but psychologists are worried


Helix DNA 6

  • Genetics testing company 23andMe recently launched a feature that allows customers to share information about what treatments for 18 conditions — including depression and ADHD — do and don't work for them.
  • Outside experts call the feature "concerning" and say it could mislead people or discourage them from getting the proper treatment.
  • The feature currently has more than 5,000 users, 23andMe says.

In a move that psychologists and psychiatrists are calling "concerning," popular genetics company 23andMe launched an initiative earlier this month allowing customers to share tips about which treatments for conditions including ADHD and depression do or don't work for them.

Since rolling out the feature, called "Condition Pages," last week, 23andMe says it has attracted more than 5,000 customers who've contributed over 30,000 submissions on the conditions.

But experts warn that some aspects of the crowdsourcing initiative could be dangerously misleading and even discourage people from getting treatments that are recommended to them by physicians.

Although the pages are similar to what someone might find on Google or Reddit (in the sense that anyone can comment on them and share information), experts warn that they might carry a feeling of authority that could encourage some customers to believe that the content has been vetted by a scientist, physician, or researcher.

"There’s a worry with having that authority label," Nancy Liu, an assistant clinical professor of clinical psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, told Business Insider.

23andme conditions page depressionSay a customer named Susie read on 23andMe's condition pages that another customer named Brian tried cognitive behavioral therapy for his depression, and it didn't work for him. Then say Susie stopped going to therapy.

That would be deeply concerning, Liu said.

"Disorders aren’t like that. What works for one person doesn’t always work for another."

Cristina Cusin, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and an assistant professor at Harvard University, agreed. She is worried that customers may treat the condition pages similar to the way they'd treat a medical consultation with a physician, despite a disclaimer at the bottom which reads, "Keep in mind that this content is preliminary and meant for informational purposes only."

There are other problems with the new feature as well, experts say.

One of them is what Liu calls selection bias. Essentially, "you self-select individuals who are engaging in this dialogue, which skews the type of information you receive, but it's somehow viewed to represent all of individuals with a particular condition."

Customers might assume that 23andMe's pages provide provide a comprehensive look at everyone with depression or ADHD, when in reality, they only represent people with the condition who also had the time and interest to get online and discuss their condition with others.

Another issue is that the feature bundles all people with a condition like depression under the same label. The true nature of depression is much more complex than that, Liu said.

That recognition is vital to ensuring that people with a wide range of iterations of the disorder get the individualized treatment that works for them — whether it's antidepressants, individual therapy, group therapy, or a combination of all three.

"One of the things we know about antidepressants is that how well they work depends on the type of depression someone has and on the severity of that depression. With something like this, that kind of fine-grained detail gets lost," Liu said.

The "treatments" currently shown on the conditions pages are nowhere near exhaustive. Not all of them are necessarily considered treatments in and of themselves. While exercising and having a pet, for example, are near the top of 23andMe's list of beneficial treatments, a tool like cognitive behavioral therapy, one of the best studied and most helpful treatments for depression, is not on the list at all.

Jesse Inchauspe, the product lead for 23andMe's condition pages, told Business Insider that the thinking behind the project was that the company had useful information besides just genetics information to share with customers.

She said the company chose the 18 conditions that are currently listed, which include depression, ADHD, asthma, and high blood pressure, based on their commonality among 23andMe customers. The company did not consult with medical experts prior to rolling out the platform, Inchauspe said.

While the feature is currently only available to 50% of customers, the other half will have access to it this week, she said. Based on customer enthusiasm, she said that 23andMe plans to add more conditions in the near future.

"It’s always been our mission to give people access to as much information as possible," Inchauspe said.

SEE ALSO: Popular genetics testing company 23andMe has a new cancer test — and scientists say it's dangerous

Join the conversation about this story »

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An e-cigarette with twice the nicotine of comparable devices is taking over high schools — and scientists are sounding the alarm


JUUL In Hand Female Black Tank Small

  • The Juul vape pen, an e-cigarette that comes with a vaporizer and pre-filled containers of nicotine liquid, is soaring in popularity.
  • Young people appear to be especially drawn to the device, which is discrete enough to hide.
  • Juul is emphatic that its product is made to appeal to adults looking to switch from smoking to vaping.
  • US Food and Drug commissioner Scott Gottlieb has been recently citing concerns with e-cigs and has repeatedly called out the Juul by name.

Vaping is becoming increasingly popular, and now a vape pen that's small, discrete, and easy to use is taking over high schools — and the e-cig market.

The Juul (pronounced "jewel") appears to have a loyal and growing following among young people, who brag on social media about being able to sneak puffs in class or in the bathroom. But it's not just teens who are using it — the device represents a third of the market share of the total e-cig category, according to Nielsen data, meaning a large share of adults are also turning to the Juul.

Compared with smoking conventional cigarettes — a process that involves setting ablaze a handful of tobacco, tar, and toxic metals — vaping seems objectively healthier. Nothing is burned — only heated — and tobacco doesn't need to be involved at all.

But vaping still comes with health risks, and these risks may be especially worrisome for young people.

"The people that are marketing these new devices claim that their main focus is to reduce the risk of smokers, and I agree, vaping probably represents a reduction in risk from smoking," Ana Rule, a professor of environmental health and engineering at Johns Hopkins University and an author of a study on e-cigs and teens, told Business Insider in March.

"But they fail to address the increased risk to this huge market they are creating among teenagers and young adults that never have smoked, and would have never even considered smoking," she added.


JUUL In Hand Female Denim Jacket copy

Among teens, the Juul is not just a noun. It's also a verb.

Instagram and YouTube are full of videos of teens posting clips of themselves vaping, or "Juuling," in class and in front of teachers; a string of high schools along the East Coast has acknowledged "Juuling" in bathroom stalls as a widespread problem, and dozens of teachers report confiscating Juul devices disguised as Sharpies and other classroom items.

The problem has drawn the attention of scientists who've been called into high schools to give presentations on the health dangers of the Juul; leaders at the US Food and Drug Administration, where a string of recent undercover sting operations have turned up several instances of illegal Juul sales to minors; and members of Congress.

Last week in a statement about the FDA's plan to crack down on Juul sales to minors, agency commissioner Scott Gottlieb called out the brand by name and said the agency would "not tolerate the sale of any tobacco products to youth."

That comes on the heels of several letters to the agency from members of congress asking the agency to further restrict sales and marketing of the Juul. Because of a current rule, many recent e-cig manufacturers are not required to apply to the FDA for review until the summer of 2022.

"The availability of Juul and e-cigarettes to youth is extremely troubling," one letter read.

Gottlieb has said the agency plans future action in addition to the sting operations.

Ashley Gould, Juul's chief administrative officer, told Business Insider in March that the soaring interest in the device among youth runs counter to Juul's mission.

"Juul is a company that was started by smokers with an objective to switch smokers to non-combustible products," Gould said, adding that the company is vehemently opposed to anyone under 18 using their products and even has a number of campaigns aimed at addressing and curbing underage use.

Nicotine is a highly addictive substance — one analysis ranks it below heroin and cocaine but above barbiturates (anti-anxiety drugs) and alcohol. Some 85% of people who try to quit smoking on their own relapse.

Some evidence suggests that e-cigs may be helpful to adults who are looking to quit smoking. But research also suggests that vaping is an appealing habit to teens, and that those who pick up a vape pen are at a greater risk of smoking conventional cigarettes than those who never vape.

That means that while adults who pick up the Juul may be using it to quit, teens who use it may become addicted and eventually turn to traditional cigarettes.

Why vaping is so appealing to teens

marijuana vaporizer vaping vapeE-cigs have a handful of qualities besides highly addictive nicotine that may make them especially appealing to young people.

Unlike conventional cigarettes, which have a natural stop mechanism — they burn to the end — e-cigs can be re-filled and reused. Additionally, where cigarettes are highly noticeable and easily policed, e-cigs are discrete and sometimes odorless (or have a non-offensive smell). Vaping isn't universally banned in indoor and outdoor places.

The Juul is also sleek, small, colorful, and fairly affordable, at $35 for the pen and $16 for a four-pack of pre-filled cartridges (or "Juul pods").

But the device is different from most e-cigs in one key way: its nicotine.

Not only does the Juul have a higher nicotine concentration than other comparable devices (a Juul pod is 5% nicotine by volume; a Blu e-cig cartridge is 2.4%), it also uses a slightly different nicotine formula than most vape pens use.

Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, a professor of pediatrics at Stanford University who studies nicotine and recently published a review of Juul devices, said she found the product's high nicotine content "scary."

"It is much higher than what we're seeing in conventional e-cigs. It's a tremendous amount," Halpern-Felsher said.

Halpern-Felsher is one of several scientists who've been called into high schools to give presentations to students warning of the Juul's high nicotine content.

Instead of straight liquid nicotine, otherwise known as "freebase," Juul uses a patented formula that combines nicotine with salt. The company says the nicotine-salt combination is similar to what's naturally found in the leaves of a tobacco plant; the end result is a stronger e-liquid that vaporizes more smoothly.

James Pauly, a pharmacologist at the University of Kentucky who studies nicotine, told Business Insider that he'd been reading a lot about Juul devices because their "concentration of nicotine is so high." He said the salt mixture likely makes the vapor less harsh, meaning it's easier to inhale more strongly for longer.

While an adult smoker might enjoy this aspect of the Juul experience, a teen who's never smoked might end up vaping a dangerous amount of nicotine in one sitting with no knowledge of how much they've consumed.

Other health concerns tied to vaping

Beyond nicotine addiction, several other health concerns about vaping are starting to emerge.

One study published last month found some of the same toxic metals in conventional cigarettes in e-cigs. Another found that at least some of those toxins appear to be making their way through vapers' bodies, as evidenced by a urine analysis run by researchers who randomly sampled nearly 100 people in the Bay Area who vape. And research presented recently at a large conference concluded that there was substantial evidence tying daily e-cig use to an increased risk of heart attack.

Nicotine is also highly addictive and has dramatic impacts on the developing brain.

Brain imaging studies of adolescents suggest that people who begin smoking regularly at a young age have markedly reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex and perform less well on tasks related to memory and attention compared to people who don't smoke.

Nicholas Chadi, a clinical pediatrics fellow at Boston Children's Hospital who spoke about the Juul at the American Society of Addiction Medicine's annual conference this month, said these brain changes are also linked with increased sensitivity to other drugs as well as greater impulsivity. He described some of the anecdotal effects of nicotine vaping that he's seen among teens in and around his hospital.

"After only a few months of using nicotine [these teens] describe cravings, sometimes intense ones. Sometimes they also lose their hopes of being able to quit. And interestingly they show less severe symptoms of withdrawal than adults, but they start to show them earlier on. After only a few hundred cigarettes — or whatever the equivalent amount of vaping pods — some start showing irritability or shakiness when they stop," Chadi said.

So although evidence may suggest that vaping is a healthier habit for adults looking to quit smoking, it is an entirely different issue when it comes to young adults.

"Vaping among teens is my (and most public health professionals) biggest worry," Rule said.

If you have questions or concerns for Juul related to underage vaping, you can email them at youthprevention@juul.com.

SEE ALSO: Scientists are beginning to learn how vaping impacts your health — and the results are troubling

Join the conversation about this story »

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The producer of 'Avatar' explains how James Cameron is making 4 sequels at the same time



  • James Cameron is currently shooting multiple sequels of his hit movie "Avatar" at the same time.
  • Producer Jon Landau explains the mindset they are all in to pull it off.
  • "Avatar 2" opens in theaters Christmas 2020.

James Cameron is currently shooting not one, not two, but three “Avatar” sequels at the same time. And he’ll soon begin work on a fourth!

After the explosive success of the 2009 fantasy movie that pushed the boundaries of computer graphics and 3D, while becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time, Cameron has been mapping out how to continue the story into a franchise.

And like all things Cameron is involved in, what he came up with is extremely ambitious.

It was announced last September that Cameron had begun production on four “Avatar” sequels in succession on a budget of over $1 billion.

All the movies are planned to open over Christmas from 2020-2025, and the only way to pull that off is to shoot different parts of all the movies at the same time. This is similar to what Peter Jackson did with his “Lord of the Rings” movies.

“Avatar” producer Jon Landau said the biggest challenge of all this was to make the cast and crew understand what they were getting into.

“I think what we had to get our heads around is the first ‘Avatar’ was a marathon,” Landau told Business Insider at CinemaCon while promoting Robert Rodriguez’s “Alita: Battle Angel.”“Now we're running a triathlon.”

That meant putting the “Avatar” sequels in the scope, as Landau put it, of doing a “miniseries on a super scale."

“There are segments of that miniseries that need to come to completion for the story arc, and then you build upon that,” he said. “Once we got our heads around that we're really telling one big story, we were able to figure out how to plan it and schedule it. The cast is there and they are doing scenes from movie two today, movie three tomorrow. But we explained to them it's not different than doing just one movie.”

We’ll see how it all comes together when the first “Avatar” sequel comes out Christmas 2020 through 20th Century Fox.

SEE ALSO: Robert Rodriguez explains why his movie adaptation of famous manga "Alita: Battle Angle" won't make the mistake "Ghost in the Shell" did

Join the conversation about this story »

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The Jeff Bezos approach to handling criticism is a good rule everyone should follow


Jeff Bezos

  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently spoke in an interview in Berlin about what he's learned from the challenges his company has faced and how he deals with criticism.
  • Amazon has faced scrutiny about everything from product features to wages, and most recently dealt with some strong opinions about its business practices from President Trump.
  • Bezos says that there are two kinds of critics, and that the key is always to "look in a mirror and decide, are your critics right? If they're right, change. Don't resist."

Jeff Bezos has faced his fair share of criticism ever since he launched Amazon as an online bookseller in 1994, competing with the likes of Barnes & Noble, and he's since created a strategy for dealing with harsh feedback.

"At that time all of the headlines ... the funniest were about how we were about to be destroyed by this much larger company," Bezos said in an interview with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner at a recent awards event in Berlin.

He still remembers the most searing one: "Amazon.TOAST."

The headlines about Amazon getting destroyed didn't turn out to be true, of course. In the past eight years alone, Amazon added 530,000 employees and is now one of the most valuable companies. But that kind of rapid growth also opened Bezos and the e-commerce giant up to scrutiny from consumers, unions, and even the president of the United States.

Throughout it all, Bezos says his approach to criticism and what he preaches to Amazon employees has been this: "When you're criticized, first look in a mirror and decide, are your critics right? If they're right, change. Don't resist."

He expanded on that to say that there are two kinds of critics: the well-meaning ones and the self-interested ones. When these critics share feedback, a focus on what can actually be controlled and what's in the best interest of the customer makes it easier to tease the two apart.

When the Kindle launched, for example, the novel "1984" was taken off the digital e-readers by Amazon in the middle of the night because of copyright issues, but no notice was given to consumers. In retrospect, Bezos believes that was the wrong move.

When it comes to the unions who argue that Amazon doesn't pay its employees well enough, though, Bezos says he believes that his company has good communication with its workers and doesn't need a union to be an intermediary.

Bezos says the company and its executives "would be very naïve" to think that Amazon wouldn't be criticized, and that he welcomes scrutiny from the government now that Amazon is a large corporation, because it's something he knows comes with the territory.

"If you're going to do anything new or innovative, you have to be willing to be misunderstood. If you cannot afford to be misunderstood then for goodness' sake, don't do anything new or innovative."

You can read — or watch — the full interview with Bezos right here.

Join the conversation about this story »

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11 insider facts about McDonald's that employees know and most customers don't


McDonald's employee

  • McDonald's employees know all about how things are run at the fast-food giant.
  • Customers might miss out on some secrets that are obvious to employees.
  • Here's a look at some insider facts from employees that you should know if you're planning to go a Big Mac run.

McDonald's jobs are abundant.

About 375,000 people work at the fast-food chain, according to a 2016 McDonald's filing. But if you include franchise employees, as Forbes did in 2015, the number jumps to 1.9 million, making McDonald's one of the largest employers in the world.

Whether they work for franchise locations or corporate stores, McDonald's employees gain a keen insight into the inner workings of the fast-food giant.

McDonald's employees can tell you all about the most annoying customer requests and the consequences of working around french fries all day.

Here are a few things only McDonald's employees know.

SEE ALSO: Walmart employees share 8 insider facts about shopping at the big box store

DON'T MISS: Costco employees share the 20 things they wish shoppers would stop doing

READ MORE: The secret history of McDonald's Filet-O-Fish, which was almost killed from the menu before becoming Trump's staple sandwich

People can get pretty invested in their food

"I was amazed at how furious people could get over food," a person who says they worked at McDonald's wrote on Reddit. "I was a swing manager for a while, and one time I took a call from an angry guy ... Seems that even though he asked for no mustard on his burgers, he got mustard."

The Reddit user said the man claimed to have a spreadsheet on which he recorded every time a McDonald's employee made a mistake with his food. He yelled and kept demanding to speak to the store owner.

The Reddit user said the owner ended up taking a call from the man and promptly hung up after telling him to find "somewhere else to eat in the future."

There's a trick to getting a fresh egg on your breakfast sandwich

Mackenzie Shelton, whose Quora bio says she's a McDonald's employee, offered a hack for getting a fresh-from-the-carton egg on your breakfast sandwich.

Request a "round egg," she said. "It's the best egg we have (and definitely real!)."

The website Serious Eats confirmed that the request could swap out "your folded egg patty with a real egg, free of charge."

Chuck Chan, who says he worked at McDonald's, wrote on Quora that you'd get the same type of egg used in McMuffins.

Employees sometimes get some unusual requests

Sometimes customers come up with some rather unusual requests for McDonald's employees to tackle.

Mike Bowerbank, who said he worked at McDonald's, said on Quora that a woman once asked for a "McDLT" with no meat.

A McDLT is a discontinued McDonald's sandwich that consisted of a cheeseburger split in two and placed on different sides of a specialized container. One half had a bun with a patty and cheese (the hot side), while the other had a bun with vegetables and sauce (the cold side).

"For some odd reason, this seemed to be the funniest thing the girl behind the counter had ever heard and she started laughing," Bowerbank wrote. "And she couldn't stop. The assistant manager had to step in, apologize, and put in the order for her."

Ganesh Satyanarayana said on Quora that while he was working the closing shift at a McDonald's in the UK, he encountered a customer he described as "visibly pregnant."

"She quietly asks me: 'Are you still open? Because I'm craving a sandwich and none of the other McDonald’s were open,'" Satyanarayana wrote. "My heart immediately melted and I let them in and told them that it would take a while as I had already finished cleaning the oil vats and the grill. She said: 'Oh, I don't want any meat on my sandwich, I just want pickles on a toasted bun.' I swear to God, I thought she was joking."

And not all of the strange requests involve food. Arthur Adams, who says he worked at a McDonald's in the 1980s, said on Quora that customers would ask him to tell a joke or sell his McDonald's hat.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Passengers reveal the most annoying things people commonly do on planes (EXPE)


airplane passenger

  • Expedia released the results of its 2018 Airplane and Hotel Etiquette Survey on Monday, which revealed some of the most annoying behaviors on airplanes.
  • Respondents said they were bothered by smells, noise, contact, and unwanted conversation, indicating that what travelers want is personal space.
  • From pet peeves cited by 18,229 respondents, Expedia came up with the five most annoying types of airline passengers.

As airlines increase the number of seats on their planes and maker them smaller, the potential for passengers to feel like their personal space is being invaded has increased. 

Flying is stressful to begin with, and after dealing with long security lines, expensive food, or a crowded seating area, passengers can be put on edge and become more likely to display or notice inconsiderate behavior. Expedia released the results of its 2018 Airplane and Hotel Etiquette Survey on Monday, which revealed some of the behaviors that bother air travelers most. 

"Whether you've been on one vacation or 100, you've likely experienced some form of annoying behavior while traveling," Expedia global head of communications Nisreene Atassi said in a press release. "At Expedia, we want to ensure that every leg of a traveler's journey is enjoyable. Our goal with this study is to better understand travelers' biggest pet peeves and offer tips to help them maximize comfort and minimize annoyances."

The survey collected responses from 18,229 people across 23 countries. While the responses pointed to a wide range of irritating behaviors, a common theme seemed to be a preference for minimal interaction with other passengers. Respondents said they were annoyed by smells, noise, contact, and unwanted conversation, indicating that what travelers want most is personal space.

From there, Expedia came up with the five most annoying types of airline passengers. Here are the top five, along with the percentage of respondents who cited them.

SEE ALSO: A toddler was filmed screaming for 8 hours on a flight — and the footage reveals a mounting, divisive issue for air travelers

5. Audio Insensitive — 29%

4. Personal Space Violators — 34%

3. The Inattentive Parent — 39%

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Tiny self-driving robots have started delivering food on-demand in Silicon Valley — take a look


starship technologies doordash delivery robots

Tech companies are known for showering their employees with sweet perks like free food. The thinking is: If employees can grab lunch on campus, they get back to work at their desks sooner.

Now, tiny self-driving robots have started delivering lunches and other supplies to tech workers in Silicon Valley's office parks, bringing convenience and flexibility to already-spoiled employees.

Starship Technologies, a robotics startup with headquarters in London, just announced its first large-scale deployment of autonomous delivery robots on corporate and academic campuses across the US and Europe. Robots have already started ferrying items from food to office supplies at Intuit in Mountain View, and the company plans to roll out 1,000 vehicles by the end of 2018.

Last year, we followed one of Starship's robots on its delivery shift. Here's how it works:

SEE ALSO: A tech company is giving each employee $1,500 to spend on experiences — and it's a millennial's dream perk

This is the delivery guy (or autonomous vehicle) of the future.

Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, cofounders of Starship Technologies and Skype before that, cut their teeth working on a robot that could collect rock samples on Mars and the moon.

They later used the same technology to develop an autonomous delivery robot. The startup raised $17 million in a funding round led by Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler in 2016.

Source: Business Insider

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

DEAD OR ALIVE: All the 'Infinity War' characters whose fates are up in the air


jeremy renner hawkeye avengers age of ultronWARNING: This post is filled with major spoilers for “Avengers: Infinity War.” If you have not seen the movie, read at your own risk. You've been warned.

"Avengers: Infinity War" is a lot to take in. We're still processing what happened because we honestly can't believe what we watched. 

By the end of "Infinity War," a lot of heroes die, or disappear when Thanos snaps his fingers and gets rid of half the universe's population. While so many are gone, there are also characters whose fates were left up in the air.

We collected a list of 15 MCU characters whose fates we're unsure about after "Infinity War":

SEE ALSO: Critics say 'Avengers: Infinity War' lives up to the hype and has a worthy villain in Thanos

Clint Barton (Hawkeye)

Last seen: "Captain America: Civil War"

Hawkeye opposed the superhuman registration introduced in "Captain America: Civil War," which essentially made him a fugitive. In "Infinity War," Black Widow mentions that Hawkeye and Scott Lang/Ant-Man took a deal with the government to be on "house arrest" because being on the run from the law was too hard on their families (in "Avengers: Age of Ultron," it's revealed that Hawkeye has a family that he's kept secret). Will we see poor Hawkeye again, the most forgotten member of the original Avengers team? All the other original members survived the Thanos snap, so we're guessing he did. 

Scott Lang (Ant-Man)

Last seen: "Captain America: Civil War" (2016)

Lang helped out Team Cap in "Civil War," and was in underwater prison for a bit. As mentioned, he and Hawkeye took a deal to be on "house arrest." Like Hawkeye, he isn't in "Infinity War" in any capacity, so we don't know if he's dust or not. Our instinct is pointing to "no," because at least a few more people need to be around to help everyone who's left.  

Hope van Dyne (The Wasp)

Last seen: "Ant-Man" (2015)

"Ant-Man and The Wasp" apparently takes place after "Civil War" but before "Infinity War," so it won't give us any insight into if she survives the massacre or not. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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